Monday 22 Apr 2019 | 00:06 | SYDNEY
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Australia in the World

Defence White Paper out tomorrow

The media is reporting that the Defence White Paper will be released tomorrow. The document itself will presumably appear here first, and in the hours and days after the launch, we will have commentary from a range of experts both here and on Twitter (look for the #ausdef13 hashtag). In the

All who went ashore at Gallipoli

In response to Robert Lewis' Reader Riposte about my criticism of the Department of Veterans' Affairs' website: I did go to the website before I wrote the post, and the words written there are as I noted. The site refers to those who 'went ashore at the Gallipoli Peninsula', of which Cape

Australia's water wisdom in the Asian century

Michael Harris is Chief Economist for the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Science (ABARES). The Asian Century White Paper outlines a vision of Australia's present and future where all aspects of Australian life and policy are enmeshed with Asia, so that even the most

Reader riposte: ANZAC triumphalism?

Robert Lewis writes: Rodger Shanahan's second-hand criticism of the DVA site for saying "Australians commemorate 25 April 1915 as 'Anzac Day'. It was the day of the 'Landing at Gallipoli' when more than 20,000 Australians and New Zealanders and some servicemen from other countries went ashore

Closer look at Coalition defence policy

The Shadow Defence Minister, Senator David Johnston, addressed the Lowy Institute last night to outline his view on the state of defence in Australia and the outlook for the 2013 Defence White Paper. Unsurprisingly, he was scathing in his criticism of the Gillard Government's approach to defence


I enjoy ANZAC Day as much as the next person. Dawn service is great, a few beers and tall tales even better. And I am the first to acknowledge how bloody good Australian soldiers are, having been one.  But at least I also acknowledge that perhaps other countries have played pretty big roles

A pause for ANZAC Day

Tomorrow is ANZAC Day in Australia and New Zealand, when we stop to remember those who have died in war. Normal blogging resumes on Friday. Photo by Flickr user Luke Redmond

The truth about coastal surveillance

Rear Admiral (ret'd) James Goldrick AO, CSC is a Nonresident Fellow at the Lowy Institute. The unexpected arrival of a suspected illegal entry vessel (SIEV) at Geraldton last week highlighted both the difficulty of national maritime surveillance and the poor understanding of its complexity and

Poll: What Indians think of Australia

A poll released today by the Lowy Institute and the Australia India Institute reveals some surprising findings on Indian public opinion towards Australia. For example, despite bad press over the security of Indian students in 2009-10, Indians hold relatively warm feelings towards Australia,

PM's China trip: Big deal for AusAID

Philippa Brant is a Lowy Institute Research Associate. Prime Minister Gillard's recent trip to China achieved many notable results. Attention has rightly focused on the announcement of the Australia-China strategic partnership and the currency trading arrangements. It was only when reading the PM'

John Howard's straight talk on Iraq

Michael Green served on the US National Security Council staff from 2001-2005 and is now Senior Vice President for Asia at CSIS and a non-resident fellow at the Lowy Institute. Kudos to former Prime Minister John Howard for giving a straight assessment of the Iraq War on the 10th anniversary of

In the room with Margaret Thatcher

Sandy Hollway is a former senior public servant and diplomat, and was CEO of the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games. From my time working for Prime Minister Bob Hawke as Chief of Staff and as the head of International Division in the Prime Minister's Department, two memories of

Impressions of Howard's Iraq speech

The text of John Howard's Iraq ten-year retrospective, delivered to a packed Lowy Institute audience this evening, is on our website. My first impressions are below. I hope others will provide a more sympathetic reading, because despite Howard's assured delivery and measured arguments, I found

Rebranding the diplomacy storefront

Katherine Ellena is a Research Associate with the US Naval Postgraduate School and a former New Zealand diplomat. The views expressed here are hers alone. One of the key (but less remarked-upon) recommendations in Alex Oliver's policy brief The Consular Conundrum  relates to the managing of

Consular vs diplomatic: DFAT's dilemma

Roslyn Wells is a Sydney-based public affairs and international relations professional. She was formerly Director of Public Affairs at the Australian Consulate General, Hong Kong. As Alex Oliver shows in her thought-provoking new Policy Brief, Consular Conundrum, the public pressure on DFAT and

Australia's national interests in the Iraq war

Albert Palazzo is a Senior Research Fellow at the Land Warfare Studies Centre. The views expressed here are his own and do not reflect those of the Department of Defence or the Australian Government. Alison Broinowski misinterpreted the key point I made in my Interpreter post of 25 March on why

Did Australia withdraw from SEATO?

Marty Harris is the Lowy Institute's Assistant Digital Editor. In response to Malcolm Cook's post on Zombie-like international institutions, we received the following comment on Twitter: Initial research suggests that @l_a_n_o_x is correct. At the time of the 1972 federal election, Labor

Australian model or Australian bubble?

In a blog post earlier this year I asked whether emerging economies had been lucky or smart. I also suggested that one way to start answering this question was to look at their performance during the major stress test provided by the global financial crisis. Of course, it's possible to ask

What do we want from DFAT?

Alex Oliver's new Policy Brief on the Consular Conundrum tells some great stories to highlight a key problem, and comes up with some very good ideas about how to fix it (I wish I'd come up with the idea of a consular levy on passports or air fares when I looked at this issue a few years ago).

Interview: Alex Oliver on her proposal for a consular levy

Yesterday I sat down with my colleague Alex Oliver to talk about her new Lowy Institute Policy Brief on Australia's consular conundrum (Alex also has an op-ed in in today's Australian). I'm fascinated by this topic because it's such a classic example of the clash between politics and policy. The

Why the Iraq war was right

Alexander Downer served as Australian foreign minister from 1996 to 2007. When we judge historical events, we tend to do so out of context. Yet to understand decisions and to judge them, you have to understand the context. Soon after I became foreign minister, the Secretary General of the UN

We went to Iraq for ANZUS

The views expressed here are the author's own and do not reflect those of the Department of Defence or the Australian Government. The 10th anniversary of the US-led war with Iraq has occasioned an outpouring of commentary, both here and in the US. I was not a witness to the Iraq War; I did not

Foreign media on Labor leadership farce

Contrary to my dark mood yesterday about Australia becoming an international laughing stock, it looks like the whole thing was something of a non-event for the foreign media, particularly if you compare it to the international stir Julia Gillard caused with her misogyny speech. As for the blogs, a

Our long national nightmare continues

So, the Prime Minister has called a leadership spill for for 4.30pm. It is difficult to find an international policy angle to all of this, except to say what an international laughing stock this makes Australia. The only major OECD economy to emerge from the GFC without going into recession;

For Australia Network, it's never safe

You've got to feel sorry for Australia's public international television service, Australia Network. Launched by the Keating Government in 1994 under the name Australia Television, its short life has been blighted with funding cuts, death threats, name changes and a failed out-sourcing effort

Reader ripostes: TNI and Bob Carr

Below, a comment from Jorge Bechara on Rodger Shanahan's Bob Carr's Selective Indignation. But first, Andrew Johnson: I appreciate that Gary Hogan has expanded on his contribution and rightly points out that he is bringing his own experience into the understanding of Indonesia and its

A gratifying moment for peacekeepers

Geraldine Doogue is patron of the Australian Peacekeeping Memorial Project and presenter of ABC RN's 'Saturday Extra'. Geraldine wrote a three-part Interpreter series on Australian peacekeeping.  Last Wednesday, in the midst of a busy March week of tumultuous political news, came one

Lieberman shows his experience

Andrew Butcher from the Asia New Zealand Foundation watched Michael Fullilove's interview with Senator Joe Lieberman, and asks via Twitter how the Brits will feel about Lieberman's characterisation of the US-Australia relationship. Describing the US-Australia relationship as 'closest' would

Iraq War: It's been almost 10 years

Blogger and columnist Andrew Sullivan is marking the upcoming tenth anniversary of the Iraq War by reproducing some of his stridently pro-war blog posts of the time. Those of you who follow Sullivan's site will know that he has changed his mind completely about Iraq since those days, and he has

Bob Carr's selective indignation

Violence happens around the world each and every day. Sometimes it gets reported in the media, and on special occasions it is deemed worthy of official condemnation. No government has time to condemn each and every action, so the incidents they do condemn should have some resonance with the

Defence relations with Burma: Our future past

Andrew Selth is a Research Fellow at the Griffith Asia Institute and author of Australian Defence Contacts with Burma, 1945-1987. Photos by the author.John Blaxland's persuasive piece on the possible renewal of defence cooperation between Australia and Burma (Myanmar) prompts a look at past

The consular death spiral

Back in October last year, my colleague Alex Oliver posted an item about the case of Alexandra Bean, an Australian who had been detained in Libya. Alex wrote that Foreign Minister Bob Carr 'is beginning to comprehend the intractability of the consular conundrum: managing the soaring demand for